Live Passionately

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
Colossians 3:23
You are en route to a destination. You have a dream that you are in pursuit of. You’re taking that next critical step to move beyond any barriers and claim new territories. What’s the best thing you’re earthly self can give that will help your journey?
Passion. Passion intertwined with talent is an unstoppable force. However, passion alone is so powerful that it often substitutes for what we lack in talent. We can’t just ‘get’ passion; it’s something that stirs within us. It compels us. It pushes us to move beyond what scares and exhausts us. One with passion yearns for responsibility over their actions because they know that their actions are taking them to a specified destination.
So, embrace the best you have to offer. Let your hair down, dig in, and work hard. Live passionately.
– Jenni
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5 Minutes to Reflect & Rest

My Friday night ended in the most hilarious of ways… falling asleep on my couch at 9:45 with a bowl of popcorn and almond clusters next to me. Sometime during the night I stumbled half awake to my room and curled up underneath my covers fully dressed. But, as it goes, I woke up bright and early to the sunrise peeking through my window. Replacing my jeans with sweat pants and pulling my hair into a pony tail, I washed my face clean of any makeup from the day before (NEVER EVER DO THIS. ALWAYS WASH YOUR FACE BEFORE YOU GO TO SLEEP) and walked out on my balcony to enjoy the refreshing breeze.

It was there, with my blanket wrapped around my shoulders, the birds cooing in the tree next to me, and my face feeling the biting sensation of the cool autumn morning, I felt an enormous sense of relaxation. Sometimes God speaks to us when we aren’t expecting. And in that moment, He was asking me to sit there on my chair facing the rising sun and take a few minutes to calm my ever-racing mind down.

It’s easy to take something that should be used as a strength and abuse it to the point where it becomes a weakness. A constant barrage of ‘thinking ahead’, working, scheduling, and studying is overwhelming. These things are very important, but when you’re in your twenties, you shouldn’t be at such a point of mental exhaustion that you have to fight to stay awake past 9pm on a Friday night. Do work hard, study, make goals and take leaps and bounds to achieve them. But find time in the week to unwind and reflect. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. Maybe it’s prayer, meditation, yoga, surfing, driving in silence, reading before bed …

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

God wants us to seek Him for understanding and not to rely completely on ourselves. Seek Him, and He will light a path for us that leads us where we need to be.

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. 
Exodus 33:14

For those who are not familiar with the Bible, God told this to Moses when he was in distress concerning the Israelites he had just led out of slavery in Egypt. God’s presence would lead the people to a new home and a place to find peace. Commonly referred to as ‘the land flowing with milk and honey.’

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
Psalm 73:26

Find five minutes in your day to reflect and rest with God. Then jump back on the road and put the pedal to the metal! God will high five you from the passenger seat!

– Jenni

Hold Fast to Your Dreams

What’s life without a dream?
Find something that grips you and forces you to take action. At the moment, you may have no idea what it is. Take some time alone and really think about what would be the ideal perfect life here on earth. Pray about it. Some people imagine more, some imagine less, but we all hold ourselves to a standard. What experience or situation can you see yourself in that makes your heart race and lights up your smile?
Some may laugh and jeer. Some may tell you you’re a fool to dream. Some may tell you, “Yes, but what does God want for you?” Only you would know. Your life is not up to anyone else. You & God are team players here and if He’s calling you one way, follow. No one has ever done anything great and full of purpose by accident. Naysayers are going to naysay, no matter what. “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
So, whether it’s performing for an audience, traveling the globe, starting a family, or playing golf every day – hold fast to your dreams. Don’t let them die with age or trials. It’s never too early to start and it’s never to late to dream!
Dream out loud.
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” 
Luke 1:37
– Jenni

One Step At A Time

“And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9
It’s a frustrating situation to find yourself in when you miss a deadline or goal you have set. I often find myself relying on what I can bring to the table alone and unfortunately, it is rarely enough. At least, not enough to satisfy everything I have had in mind at the end goal.
One of the things I love most about a team is that everyone has different strengths. After defining each of those strengths, each can be used to advantage everyone. Most of my life, I have shrunk back from the word ‘team’ because I wanted to take on everything on my own. I could only depend on myself. However, as of late, I’ve found that teamwork is one of the best ways to get things done quickly, as long as your have a strong team that understands its strengths.
Working alone and not achieving what you want is like running in a dead sprint and tripping right before the finish line because of exhaustion. Instead, pass along the baton from person to person and strategically place team mates where their strengths are needed in the race. The most important person to have on your team is God. Trust Him, have patience, and don’t be afraid to step out.
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.  Isaiah 40:31
Sometimes, we stumble and our plans change. But just take it one step at a time.
– Jenni
 

A Picture Perfect Book Cover

“People look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” 
1 Samuel 16:7
On most days, I wake up with a crazy hairstyle even a Who from Whoville couldn’t imitate. I have animal allergies and often sneeze loudly and uncontrollably at the mere sight of cats or dogs. It takes me a minimum of one hour to get ready in the morning to the point where I’m completely comfortable and confident walking out the door. I worry a lot about things that aren’t that big of a deal and procrastinate things that I should get done right away. I’ve woken up sad, angry, and irritated, I have picked fights with my boyfriend over dumb things, and I am way more in my element alone at home rather than surrounded by others at a party.
Here’s my point: We often paint a picture perfect showcase of our lives while on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. However, the real life every day situations of negativity are swept under the rug. It’s like when I’ve  posted a picture of an early morning sunrise with a lovely positive quote or Bible verse underneath – but in the reality of the moment, my alarm clock is buzzing, my morning breath is suffocating, and I’m fuming about having to get out of bed and start the day.

Let me clarify: Keep being positive on social forums. I’m not encouraging every dull and displeasing experience of your life to be broadcasted to the world. The reality is, no one wants to know about your or my problems. It’s great to remind yourself of the happy moments in your day by sharing them with others. But don’t get caught in the game of comparison with another person’s life based on what they put out there on the internet. Our social media accounts are just like the cover of a book. And as they say, “Never judge a book by it’s cover!
And as God says, leave the judging to Him. “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
– Jenni

Overcoming Adversity: Drugs, Prison, & Bread

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
While browsing the grocery store a few months ago, a certain bag of bread caught my eye. I often call myself the ‘marketer’s dream’ because colors immediately grab my attention – but what I noticed first was the large cartoon of a muscular man with a brilliant mustache playing a guitar on the front of the bag. Words that jumped out to me were ‘heavenly texture’ and ‘saintly taste’. But the most impressionable phrase was ‘just say no to bread on drugs.’ Intrigued by Dave’s Killer Bread, I purchased a loaf.
Only when I got home did I notice that on the other side of the bread bag was a printed short blurb from the company’s owner, Dave Dahl. It was heartfelt and honest. It was about a man who spent fifteen years in prison to come out a new man and find success in doing something he loves and something truly admirable… “- changing the world one loaf of bread at a time,”. It struck me as an incredible story and I had to share with all of you.
It’s about fourteen minutes long – but worth the watch.
Second chances are so worth it when the one taking the chance is willing to change. What an inspiration Dave Dahl is!
Oh, and if you’re curious (as I’m sure you are) the bread is DELICIOUS. Seriously. Go buy some, it’s all it claims to be and more.
– Jenni
Visit http://www.daveskillerbread.com/ for more info and where to purchase a loaf near you!

Are You Ready to Get Pep Talked?

We all need a little encouragement now and then. Put on some headphones, press play, and enjoy the incredible Kid President, Robby Novak.

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The Light You Leave

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” 
Colossians 1:17



I love visiting Honolulu, Hawaii. The laid-back feel, the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the smell of sweet floral tones… with pineapple in one hand and an ice-cold virgin Mai Tai in the other, it is a feeling a pure relaxation. However, there is a special ‘ceremony’ of sorts that happens every evening as the sun sets along the Waikiki Beach. Among the beautiful hotels, comfortable lawn chairs, and open-air terraces there are a sprinkling of tiki torches lined up on the pathways. Each twilight, a man will run from torch to torch and ignite the wicks – moving quickly so that there may be light by the time the sun has fully disappeared below the horizon. He is usually dressed in traditional Hawaii clothing, so the flocks of tourists are often eager to snap a picture of him, or even better, with him. However, because the job is required to be a swift one, the man comes and goes before anyone can even open their camera app. But… you will always know where he’s been by the light he’s left.

What light are you leaving behind?

– Jenni

P.S. – Here is my cousin and I a few years ago when we actually caught the torch-bearer… don’t laugh too hard! LOL




Lately…

… life has been full-on. I find myself jotting down more things in my little notebook hidden in the depths of my purse rather than sitting down at my computer to write out a new post that is worth pondering over. Yikes! I hope to be back at it soon. I think I’ll carve out a few hours to brush up some of the messy ramblings in my journal. I’m sure I’ll have a funny story or two. Or five.
But for now, here’s a picture of Diamond Head State Park. Woo!

Have a great weekend! ❤
– Jenni

"20 Things to Know Before You’re 30"

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” 
Romans 13:11


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I read one of the most well put-together pieces of journalism this morning and then read it twice more. Ms. Debra Fileta eloquently structured an incredible article titled “20 Things to Know Before You’re 30“(click the title to read the article!) It’s a profound read and I had to share it with all of you!
Some of my very favorite online articles come from RELEVANT Magazine. It’s created by outwardly creative thinkers and people of Christian faith. Their articles aim to ‘break stereotypes and challenge the status quo’. It’s a great place to go for believers and skeptics alike. I highly recommend checking it out and/or subscribing. It’s free!
– Jenni